5 Worst Interview Answers and How to Improve Them

Facing an interview is a daunting prospect to most people. Even for someone who has given interviews in the past, a new one can be intimidating. Come to think of it, every interview is different, but there are some common patterns in all of them. You have to only keep them in mind. For instance, here are a few responses that you should never give at an interview. Read on.


#1 Question: Tell us something about yourself.

Answer to avoid: Any answer with lots of personal details.

The interviewers do not want to know how and where you spent your childhood. They do not want to know about your schooling either, except for maybe your performance in the final year. Also, avoid telling them about that Spelling Bee you won in Grade 6. What they really need to know, instead, is how you are a good fit for the job on offer. Every sentence that you speak, and there won’t be many, has to be crafted to reflect that. Tell them about the recent activities in your life that could help the job you are applying for.

#2 Question: What is your weakness?

Answer to avoid: Any answer that directly speaks about your weakness.

There are many intelligent ways to frame a response to this tricky question. One way to do that is to convert the weakness into a strength. For example, you could say that your weakness is that you cannot be ever satisfied with your work. Now, though this sounds like a vulnerability, it is actually a strength because it indicates that you are a perfectionist. Remember that the interviewer is trying to find out your qualities to match the job profile, even when they are asking you about a potential shortcoming.

#3 Question: Why did you leave your previous job?

Answer to avoid: Anything that shows your previous job or company in a poor light.

When you are asked this question, you might be tempted to reveal everything that was bad about your previous place of work, but you need to resist the temptation. If you want to say that your previous employer was too bossy or demanding, that’s only going to reflect badly on you and not on your employer. The best policy is to be neutral about your past employment, and instead say how you are looking for growth opportunities. Also, do not say that you got bored or tired of it, because that only indicates you tend to lose interest soon.

#4 Question: What salary do you expect?

Answer to avoid: “I leave that up to you to decide.”

This is definitely a bad answer because it indicates you are ignorant of two things: (1) your own worth and (2) the current market value of your position. This means, you are not updated about your sphere of activity. It is best to give a range that is within reasonable limit.

#5 Question: Do you have any further questions?

Answer to avoid: “No.”

When you say you have no further questions, you show a lack of interest. Companies ask this question deliberately, to find out how dedicated you are to procure the position. Come prepared with information on the company and ask them a few questions about their work. This will tip the scales significantly in your favour.